Inside Turkmenistan

A look at the people and places that define the reclusive gas-rich nation. [30 photos total]

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People gather in front of a monument to Turkmenistan's President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov during its inauguration ceremony in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, May 25, 2015. Turkmenistan unveiled the first monument to Berdymukhamedov - a gilded 6-meter-high statue of the leader on horseback perched on a white cliff, reflecting his flourishing personality cult in the reclusive gas-rich nation. (REUTERS/Marat Gurt) #
Delegates of the People's Council, the Halk Maslakhaty, approve of the presidency of Turkmenistan's new leader Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov during his inauguration in Ashgabat February 14, 2007. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) #
Women walk down steps beneath a portrait of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow at the Palace of Happiness marriage registry office in Ashgabat February 7, 2012. (REUTERS/Aman Mehinli) #
A woman looks out from her stall selling traditional garments and textiles at a market in Ashgabat February 8, 2012. (REUTERS/Aman Mehinli) #
World War Two veteran Guwanch Myratlyev, 89, sits in his house in Ashgabat April 8, 2015. Myratlyev served as a sailor in Baltic fleet of the Soviet Union forces from February 1944 until 1950. (REUTERS/Aman Mehinli) #
Students walk in front of Turkmenistan State University with a portrait of Turkmenistan's President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on the facade in the capital Ashgabat October 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
People wearing traditional dresses wave national flags in front of a poster as they attend an opening ceremony of a new gas processing plant at Bagtyarlyk gas field in eastern Turkmenistan May 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Marat Gurt) #
Local imam calls for prayer from the minaret of a mosque in Ashgabad, August 19, 2007. (REUTERS/Zhao Tsun Hsiung) #
A general view shows the resort of Avaza June 8, 2011. Turkmenistan's all-powerful leader promised that he will build a Las Vegas on the windswept shores of the Caspian Sea. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
A wedding convoy passes a Turkmen flag near the mausoleum of the country's former leader Saparmurat Niyazov near Ashgabat February 19, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
A man performs at the opening ceremony of a yacht club, which is part of the Avaza resort, on the Caspian Sea in western Turkmenistan June 29, 2013. (REUTERS/Marat Gurt) #
Dancers perform in a theatre at a new cultural centre in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat as a portrait of Turkmenistan's late leader Saparmurat Niyazov hangs in the centre, February 16, 2007. (REUTERS/Michael Steen) #
Independence Day fireworks light the sky above the gold-plated statue of Turkmenistan's former leader Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat October 27, 2002. (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) #
A woman walks through a park after snowfall in Ashgabat February 26, 2007. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Turkmen honor guards line up during a meeting of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich in Ashgabat, February 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Mykhailo Markiv/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout) #
A general view shows the resort of Avaza June 8, 2011. Turkmenistan's all-powerful leader promises that, one day soon, he will build a Las Vegas on the windswept shores of the Caspian Sea. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Members of a military band are reflected in a brass instrument at a ceremony following Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's inauguration as Turkmenistan's new president in Ashgabat February 14, 2007. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) #
Women walk by a block of flats with satellite TV dishes in the provincial Turkmen city of Turkmenabat March 7, 2007. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Turkmen vendor sells home made traditional Turkmen hats at an open market in Kara Kum desert 15 km (9,3 miles) outside the county's capital Ashgabat, February 2, 2006. Most of the hats are created according to ancient technology and traditional design. (REUTERS/John Russel) #
Soldiers in traditional costume march away from the Rukhiyet hall where Turkmenistan's new leader was sworn in in Ashgabat February 14, 2007. (REUTERS/Michael Steen) #
A Turkmen drugs control officer looks on as seized opium and heroin are displayed to diplomats and journalists at Manysh, some 20 km (12 miles) from the capital Ashgabat, February 7, 2007. (REUTERS/Michael Steen) #
Turkmen elder with a donkey passes a line of government limousines near Ashgabat hippodrome October 28, 2002. (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) #
A woman buys fresh meat at the Jygerluk market on the outskirts of Ashgabat, February 8, 2007. (REUTERS/Michael Steen) #
Folklore dancers perform in front of workers during a laying-down ceremony of a golden link of the Ashgabat-Karakum-Dashoguz railroad near Darvaza in the Karakum Desert north of the capital Ashgabat February 10, 2006. (REUTERS/Olukbek Tagtabayev) #
People wait in line to get their pensions and other payments in Ashgabat July 18, 2007. (REUTERS/Zhao Tsun Hsiung) #
Children jump into the waters of a newly built canal in the Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat, May 30, 2007, as temperature reaches 37 degree Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit). (REUTERS/Zhao Tsun Hsiung) #
A woman cooks pastry at the Jygerluk market on the outskirts of Ashgabat, February 8, 2007. (REUTERS/Michael Steen) #
A worker removes a portrait of the late President Saparmurat Niyazov from a building in Ashgabat February, 2006. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
Women mourn for Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat December 24, 2006. (REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili) #
Horses race past a giant portrait of Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at the presidential race track in Ashgabat May 11, 2007. (REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/Presidential Press Service) #

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